#SecretBallot: Be Afraid, Very Afraid Zuma Will Survive

The South African president, Jacob Zuma has confronted 3 votes in total, and two unsuccessful motions  Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete has given the go-ahead for a secret ballot in (8th August) Tuesday’s debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Jacob Zuma

The most recent one vote occured on 5th April 2016, Mmusi Maimane of the DA proposed the vote, following the president’s ‘violation of the constitution’ and the Nkandla scandal. The vote to push JZ out failed, however, and was defeated by 235 – 143.

SAFTU stated that if President Zuma survives, it would be a disaster not only for South Africa, but for the ruling ANC party itself, which will be condemned as a party which condones and defends corrupt criminals.

In order for a vote of no-confidence to pass, a simple majority, ie. 201 votes, is required in the National Assembly. Right now the ANC has 249 votes and the opposition together have 151 votes. Technically the opposition would therefore only require 50 ANC votes to pass the motion, but it can be assumed that some opposition parties like the NFP will not support the motion.

Motions that didn’t make it vote:

On 17th March 2015, the Parliament had to decide if there’d be a no confidence ballot, after Maimane again called Zuma out on corruption and weakening the economy.

The motion was defeated by 221-113.

Since Zuma took office, five draft resolutions about motions of no confidence in the president have been brought before the National Assembly. Three motions of no confidence have been voted on, one has been amended and one has been withdrawn.

The bottom line is that the vote of no confidence is not only unlikely to pass, but could actually cause further damage and create a worse scenario.

Realistically the only way that President Zuma will go prior to an ANC electoral conference is if the NEC moves against him,

Removal According to the Constitution:

This is the closest thing to an ‘impeachment’ we get in SA, and it falls under Section 89 in the constitution: It states a president can be removed on grounds of violating the law, serious misconduct, or sheer incompetence in serving the public.

On March 1st, 2016, He survived the attempt to oust him by another comfortable margin – 225 – 99.

A withdrawn motion:

On the 3rd March 2015, Agang SA MP Molapi Plouamma called for a no-confidence debate, citing that Zuma has destroyed economic growth, encouraged corruption, and allowed crime to spiral out of control.

He asked the Speaker Baleka Mbete to remove herself from presiding over the debate, but when she wouldn’t budge, Plouamma withdrew his motion.

An amended motion:

This one is another strange chapter in Zuma’s ‘illustrious’ history of no confidence:

Mvume Dandala from Congress of the People proposed a no confidence motion against JZ for his ‘failure to live up’ to the public’s expectations.

However, the ANC’s counter proposal was to rename the motion to “the house has full confidence in the president of the Republic of South Africa and appreciates his leadership of the government and nation”

This switch in language – turning a negative from a positive – was agreed upon, and seemed to influence enough voters to keep Zuma in power (242-83)

Tomorrow will be historic in any event, we either have President Baleka Mbete for 30 days or Jacob Zuma continuing his reign with a little help from the Saxonwold compound.

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